Need help cleaning up a track, please


I just recorded my first audio clip for a customer using Audacity. This gentleman recorded a brief 30-second intro for his school website, but I noticed there were some issues.

His breathing is audible only on the letter ‘p’ sounds and I was wondering if there were a way to remove these artifacts. I am using an expensive Sennheiser microphone that I normally use with great success on my Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation projects. I only had a few tries with this client to get it right and now I’m wondering if there’s a way to clean up the audio a bit.

Any suggestions?


P.S. I see I can upload an attachment, and I thought providing the mp3 or Audacity file might help. But it says these extensions are not allowed? Instead, I put the audio clip on my own site:

And here’s the Audacity file:

Just for future references, the .aup file is useless without the _data folder in the same directory. But that folder is probably huge, so don’t worry about it.

As for the file, those are some pretty classic plosives. Did you use a pop filter? If you did, he was waaay too close to the mic. If you didn’t then hang your head in shame. :wink:

You should also have pointed the mic in a different direction. You ended up picking up alot of sibilance (‘Sss’) and for some reason his C’s are really powerful. I have no idea why. That’s the kind of thing that needs experimenting though, I can’t tell you exactly what happened.

You would also do well to get rid of that background hiss. I’m not sure where it’s from but the soundcard and pre-amp are the two most likely culprits (if you do indeed have a nice mic).

I realize it’s difficult with limited time to get a proper recording, but it’s going to be even more difficult to get rid of all those problem areas. My first advice is to see if he wouldn’t mind recording the voiceover again. If that doesn’t work, you can crawl through the file and try filtering and attenuating all of the problems as you see fit.

For each problem, first try filtering below 500Hz or so, if that doesn’t work then try attenuating it a bit (amplify with a setting of -6dB to start) and see if it helps. It’s going to be impossible to get it sounding great, especially since there’s also a lot of background hiss.

I also noticed a bit of what sounds like clipping on a ‘P’ sound. Good luck with that one, it’s gonna be noticeable no matter what.

religious schools scare me.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it. Looks like I have no choice but to live with it or rerecord with the mic farther away.